Lausanne, Jan 5, 2016: Chinese superstars MA Long and LIU Shiwen have ended 2015 as the world’s top ranked table tennis players after both having an amazing 2015, which saw them both being crowned the 2015 ITTF Table Tennis Stars in December.
MA Long had the year of his career winning the Qoros World Championships, Liebherr Men’s World Cup and GAC Group 2015 World Tour Grand Finals, which made him undoubtedly the best table tennis player on the planet.
2015 marks the sixth anniversary that MA Long first ended the year as world number one back in 2010 and December was the 41st month that the 27-year-old has occupied the top position of the world ranking.
On his achievement, MA Long stated: “I am very happy to end 2015 as the World number one again! I am looking forward to showing even better performances in the 2016 Olympic year.”
Chinese teammates FAN Zhendong and XU Xin finished the year at number two and three respectively, followed by Germany’s Dimitrij OVTCHAROV. Olympics champion ZHANG Jike, also from China, is at number five just ahead of Japan’s Jun MIZUTANI.
Japan’s Yuya OSHIMA had the biggest rise in the world ranking in a breakthrough year. At the start of 2015, the now 21-year-old was listed as 71 in the world, moving on 12 months and the rising Japanese superstar is a lofty 18th in the world, and closing in fast on the world’s top 10.
LIU Shiwen managed to overcome her bitterly disappointing loss in the Qoros 2015 World Championships final to DING Ning, to finish the year as the world’s number one women’s table tennis player.
On her way to finishing world number one for the third time in her career, LIU Shiwen won a record equalling fourth Women’s World Cup in a highly successful year for the Chinese player.
World Champion DING Ning finished the year in second position on the back of her victory at the year ending GAC Group 2015 World Tour Grand Finals.
Compatriot ZHU Yuling finishes the year in third ahead of Japanese superstar Ai FUKUHARA. China’s CHEN Meng is next in line at number five, above China’s Olympic Champion LI Xiaoxia and Japan’s Kasumi ISHIKAWA.
14-year-old sensation Mima ITO finishes a remarkable year, which saw her crowned as the 2015 ITTF Breakthrough Star as the 12th best table tennis player on earth.
After a short break for the festive season, the world’s best players get back into action at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, which begins on 20 January 2016 in Budapest, Hungary. —- ITTF
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